Genetics Can Play a Significant Part in the Health of Your Teeth and Gums
It seems that every month there is a new discovery about how important genetics are to a person’s health. Many major diseases have markers that can be passed down, and those markers have been discovered. There are companies out there that will test your DNA to give not just information on who your ancestors were, but on potential health issues you may be at high risk for.
Genetic dentistry is another emerging field that couples genetics with dentistry. How much of an impact do genetics have on tooth decay? Are some family lines more susceptible to gum disease than others? These are just a few of the questions that are being studied by researchers. Read on to find out what is known today but don’t forget that there will never a substitute for good home oral care.
The link between genetics and cavities
It is true that eating too much sugar increases a person’s chances of getting a cavity but it is becoming clear that it is not the only thing that matters. Studies are showing that genetics may play a much bigger role in overall oral health than was previously thought. One study showed that up to 60% of a person’s risk for tooth decay is entirely genetic. This is why some people take great care of their teeth and still get cavities, while others are not nearly as fastidious about their oral health and yet never get cavities.
The reason genetics play a part
There are actually a few reasons that genetics can affect how prone a person is to getting cavities. First, the enamel of a person’s tooth is affected by genetics, and how hard a person’s enamel is can have a huge impact on how likely they are to have a cavity. Saliva and good mouth bacteria are both essential to fight off decay and are also both affected by genetics. We believe that as the science gets more precise, the list of factors affected by genetics will becoming longer.
Do not take this information too seriously
There are a few things that this information should do. It should show you that even if you take perfect care of your teeth and get a cavity, it is not necessarily something to beat yourself up about. It should also show you that there are many factors that contribute to the health of your teeth and gums – including genetics.
What the study should not do is give anyone the impression that how well they take care of their teeth doesn’t matter. If you take great care of your teeth then you are still more likely to have healthy teeth. Remember that 60% of a person’s risk for tooth decay is genetic but that is not 100%. If you have questions about how to best take care of your teeth, contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 now.